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Comelec disqualifies 40 senatorial aspirants

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified at least 40 people who filed their certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 Senate polls, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Monday.

“As of last week, we have more than 40 disqualifications. [But] these are still pending certificate of finality since the decision on when the disqualification was deemed did not happen in the same day,” Jimenez said.

“The 40 were disqualified not only because of being a nuisance. They are other due courses wherein a candidate can be disqualified,” Jimenez added.

The Omnibus Election Code defines nuisance candidates as those who file COCs “in mockery of the election process; to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the COC has been filed.”

Jimenez has previously said that determining whether a candidate is nuisance or otherwise is not just about financial resources because “one can have less money than the other, but the one who has less money could be better suited for a national campaign because he or she has [enough] supporters.”

“The official list [of Senate bets and the rest of the candidates] should be in by the third week of January because we will be printing the ballots by that time,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez, however, clarified that the Comelec preparations is still on time, considering that the poll body delayed the filing of candidacy for two weeks in October last year to give the members of Congress undivided attention in scrutinizing and approving the proposed P3.757 trillion budget for this year.

Congress, however, is yet to approve the proposed budget for this year to this day.

At least 152 individuals filed for COC for one of the 12 Senate seats at stake last October 14.

Of the 152, 14 are either incumbent or former senators or more than the 12 Senate seats at stake.

The seven incumbent senators seeking re-election include Sonny Angara of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Bam Aquino of Liberal Party (LP), Grace Poe (Independent), Cynthia Villar of Nacionalista Party (NP), JV Ejercito of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Nancy Binay of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Koko Pimentel of the ruling party PDP-Laban.

The seven former senators eyeing a comeback, on the other hand, are Juan Ponce Enrile of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of Lakas-CMD, Serge Osmeña III (Independent), Jinggoy Estrada of PMP, Pia Cayetano of NP, Lito Lapid of NPC and Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. —NB, GMA News